College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Faculty > Arabic > Maha Sweis-Dababneh

Maha Sweis-Dababneh


  • PhD, Amman Arab University for Graduate Studies
  • Master’s degree, Jordan University
  • Master’s degree, DePaul University
  • Bachelor’s degree, Jordan University


Dr. Maha Sweis-Dababneh is from Jordan and attended the Education School at the University of Jordan, where she completed her BA, MA, and PhD degrees.  She finished her second master’s degree from DePaul University, a Master of Arts in Arabic, in June 2015.  

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh moved to the United States and Chicago in 2006 and started teaching Arabic language at DePaul University in 2007.  For her, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth.  One of her hopes as an educator is to instill in students a love of learning the Arabic language while sharing her own love of learning.  

Teaching the Arabic language has become a passion of Dr. Sweis-Dababneh.  She takes great pride when she sees her students advancing and reaching their goals in language learning.

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh is the 2021 Professor of the Year Award winner, and the 2020 Master Educator Award winner for embracing the use of instructional technology at Moraine Valley Community College.  In 2019 she earned the Quality Matters (QM) Star Award for excellence in online course design and for achieving a perfect score in the DePaul University Internal Quality Matters Review.  She is also the 2012 Innovation of the Year Award winner for designing, developing, and implementing Arabic 101 online at Moraine Valley Community College.

Dr. Maha was awarded the 2022 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Recognition 
“American Association of Community Colleges”, and 2021-2022 League for Innovation Excellence Award, she was nominated for Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member Award ICCTA (Illinois Community College Trustees Association).

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh has presented at conferences including the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), Foreign Language Associations of Virginia (FLAVA), DePaul University, Moraine Valley Community College, St. Mary Orthodox Church, and the Innovator Spotlight Virtual Conference.  Also, she conducted workshops for the StarTalk program at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University.

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh's presentations and workshops cover a range of topics including training teachers on using technology in the classroom, student-centered learning activities, using technology to enhance language learning, her innovation of the year award, teaching Arabic through technology, teaching tools and ideas for online language classes, hands-on activities, and flipping the classroom.  In addition to teaching at DePaul University, Dr. Sweis-Dababneh is a Full Professor at Moraine Valley Community College and is adjunct faculty at Saint Xavier University.

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh is a member of the National Arabic Teachers Association, the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the Chicago Arabic Teacher Council, and she serves as a member of the Council Board.  

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh is committed to community involvement, volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, St. Mary Orthodox Church, and Sertoma Center.  

Dr. Sweis-Dababneh has her own YouTube channel “Teaching Arabic for Beginners and Intermediate​.”

In her teaching, Dr. Sweis-Dababneh follows the Chinese proverb. “Tell me and I forget.  Show me and I remember.  Involve me and I understand.”

She looks forward to helping expand the Arabic language program.  Most importantly she looks forward to a lifelong career of teaching the Arabic language so students from diverse backgrounds will better understand our increasingly global community, and that doors of opportunity for students open as they become familiar with people of different cultures.